By Chad Keller, COO/Co-Founder of Growth Stackers.

Although Facebook is a powerful platform for building awareness of your product or service, it can be a huge waste of ad dollars if you use it haphazardly in pursuit of conversions. I've found that the trick to achieving great return on investment (ROI) on Facebook ad conversion campaigns is to run them through a digital marketing funnel and to use multiple, well-tested ad variants. This strategy allows me to separate the winners from the losers ahead of time.

I like using digital sales funnels because I see them as an organized approach to capturing attention, showcasing credibility, garnering trust and establishing a bond with the consumer before ultimately pressing for the sale.

Successful Facebook ads marketing funnels consist of four stacked stages: At the top is awareness, followed by education, engagement and conversion.

Invariably, some Facebook users who enter this funnel convert after seeing the ad for the first time. However, a larger number convert after again seeing the ad (or, more accurately, a variation of it), this time during the education stage. This phenomenon demonstrates that, while first impressions are lasting impressions, they aren't necessarily sales-generating impressions.

The majority of conversions usually occur during the engagement stage, consumers having by then seen the ad and its variants a number of times.

Those who remain in the funnel beyond that point will see additional ad variants and either convert or disappear.

Conversion takes multiple impressions.

In my experience with Facebook ads conversion campaigns, it typically takes four-to-eight impressions before a purchase decision occurs. The number is higher or lower depending on the product, price point and demographics. For example, if I'm selling something for $5, fewer impressions will be needed to reach conversion than if I'm selling something for $500.

The fact that multiple impressions are needed is why I produce multiple variations of my ads.

Testing each variation before deployment allows me to see which one is likely to generate the best response in each of the four stages of the funnel.

In a nutshell, the more variations created, the more testing that must be performed; and the more testing is done, the clearer the picture that develops as to which variations qualify as hero content (and merit further optimization) and which variations should be discarded.

Effectively, this approach allows the audience -- not me -- to determine my highest-impact hero content.

A successful strategy needs a multitiered approach.

This strategy of running heavily tested ad variants through a digital marketing funnel is now a staple of mine. Additionally, I don't treat Facebook, Google Adwords, Instagram and other social-platform campaigns as independent silos. I make sure campaigns that cross platforms are integrated so that they can feed and build upon one another. And just as individual ad variants are tested within each stacked campaign, the campaigns themselves are tested against one another to identify the best use for each.

Business owners who are creating a new campaign should not expect good results for at least the first two or three months after a campaign launches. During that time much work must be performed developing ad variants and testing them.

Complacency is the enemy.

It is vital not to grow complacent once this process identifies winner ads and ad-variants. It's tempting to rest on one's laurels and just keep recycling ads that worked well in order to save time, effort and money. But that's a serious mistake.

It's a mistake because the ad that worked wonderfully this week might be less effective next week -- or it might not be effective at all. That's how fast things change in this particular digital space. Facebook ads have a very short life cycle -- the correct response is to constantly produce more content. Unfortunately, constant production of ad variants and their testing costs money, so there has to be a budget for it.

Still, the benefits of this strategy are undeniably worth the investment. Done correctly, this approach fosters a substantial drop in the cost per conversion. It helps ensure that your war chest has plenty of investment dollars in it to pay for more Facebook ads conversion campaigning than you might otherwise think you can afford.

Chad Keller is a Serial Entrepreneur - COO/Co-Founder of Growth Stackers .